Current Events Articles: August 2009

Pseudo-Science and Sensationalist Archaeology posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

The following link is an Exposé of Jimmy Barfield and the Copper Scroll Project. While ABR would not fully agree with the full tone and every point made in this article (some folks would lump ABR into the blindly religious and unscientific category for our convictions about the Bible being the very Word of God), we feel that this article is very instructive for the Christian community. There is a troubling tendency within the Church to accept the sensationalist claims of these tabloid pseudo-archaeologists, who are untrained in the field and have not adequately researched the biblical and archaeological data pertinent to their claims.

Extrabiblical historical and archaeological data should be meticulously researched before it is touted as support for the Bible. As Paul instructed the Thessalonians: "Test everything. Hold onto the good." (I Thess. 5:31). We have enough trouble making our case with sound scholarship, the parade examples being emotional and unscientific reactions to our research pertaining to Jericho and Ai. We don't need our brethren making the situation more difficult by trying to "prove" the Bible with unsubstantiated "evidences." They are unnecessary and ultimately damaging.

Recommended Resource:

Holy Relics or Revelation: Examining the Claims of Ron Wyatt Biblical archaeologists have gathered archaeological data with painstaking effort and scholarship. Their work validates the accuracy of the Bible. Yet mostly within a single decade, Ron Wyatt sought out and claimed the most amazing biblical sites and relics. The sensational discoveries claimed by Wyatt number nearly 100 and include such things as the Ark of the Covenant, anchor stones from Noah's Ark, a book of the law written by Moses, and the original Ten Commandments in stone. Also Christ's literal living blood, fences from Noah's farm, the Golden Censer, Goliath's sword, the graves of Korah and friends, the Table of Showbread, and the wheels of Pharaoh's chariots (Standish, pages 7-10). These are only the beginning...

Pictures of the Copper scrolls at the Amman Museum in Jordan. Photos by Michael Luddeni.

Gemstone depicting Alexander the Great found at Tel Dor posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

Excavations in Tel Dor have turned up a rare and unexpected work of Hellenistic art: a precious stone bearing the miniature carved likeness of Alexander the Great. Archaeologists are calling it an important find, indicating the great skill of the artist.

The Army of the Kings of Ur posted by Bryant G. Wood PhD

According to Biblical chronology, Abraham was born in 2166 BC, presumably in Ur of the Chaldeans in southern Iraq.  He spent his early years in Ur until he migrated to Haran (Turkey) with the rest of his family (Gn 11:26–31).  Scripture does not tell us when this migration took place, but it had to have been sometime prior to 2091 BC, the year Abraham left Haran at age 75 to answer God’s call to go to Canaan (Gn 12:4).  Abraham lived in Ur just prior to the historical period known as the Third Dynasty of Ur (Ur III), ca. 2100–2000 BC. 

Bertrand Lafont, Scientific Director of Archaeology and Ancient History at the French Institute of the Near East, has pulled together the available ancient texts that bear on military activities of the Ur III period, providing fascinating insights into the culture that Abraham came out of.  Go to to read his article “The Army of the Kings of Ur: The Textual Evidence.” 

(For further background information on Abraham, see Stephen Caesar, “The Wealth and Power of the Biblical Patriarchs,” Bible and Spade 19 [2006], pp. 1–13.)

Unique Aramaic Inscription Found on Mount Zion posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

A unique Aramaic inscription on a stone cup commonly used for ritual purity during the first century has been uncovered in a dig on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.

Traces of Aramaic Writing Found on Shroud of Turin posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA


As Pope Benedict confirmed his intention to visit the Shroud of Turin next year, French scientist Thierry Castex has revealed that he has found traces of Aramaic on the Shroud.

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